Pentagon to allow women in combat, surprising thousands of women already in combat

24 Jan

WASHINGTON—Defense Secretary Leon Panetta today announced that he is lifting the longstanding ban on women serving in combat roles in the US military, surprising the thousands of women who have recently fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It sure seemed like combat, but I guess I was confused,” said decorated veteran Janet Engler of Chicago, who fought off several insurgent attacks on her supply convoys in Iraq and survived an IED blast. “Maybe it was just a kind of weird angle on a surprise birthday party.”

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D—Ill), a double-amputee veteran of the Iraq War, was also surprised. “I guess my legs just fell off when I wasn’t looking, or something,” she said.

Some military experts expressed concern about the differences in upper-body strength between most men and most women. “Traditionally, when Afghan insurgents attack our firebases, it starts with a bench-press-off,” said Col. David Maynes. “Can women handle it?”

Opposition to the move was relatively muted. Former Rep. Allen West decried the move, arguing that “allowing women to vote is the first step towards moral decay.” There was then some confusion while he looked for the correct speech.

Fox News was also opposed. In an on-air editorial, Karl Rove noted that “we don’t support gays in the military, and we don’t support women in combat.” After thinking for a moment, he added, “I guess that means we can support gay women in combat.”

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